Crypto users lost $1.8 billion in 2023 hacks and scams

Crypto users lost $1.8 billion in 2023 hacks and scams


Crypto users lost $1.8 billion in 2023 hacks and scams In 2023, the cryptocurrency landscape witnessed a staggering loss of $1.8 billion due to a surge in hacks and scams.  we delve into the depths of these incidents to shed light on the vulnerabilities plaguing the crypto community.

The Rise of Cryptocurrency Vulnerabilities

Exploiting Technological Gaps

In a fast-paced digital era, cryptocurrencies have become a prime target for cybercriminals seeking to exploit technological gaps. From sophisticated hacking techniques to social engineering, the arsenal of threats facing crypto users is more diverse than ever.

Crypto aficionados witnessed a staggering depletion of $1.8 billion in 2023 due to a melange of hacks, exploits, scams, and rug pulls, as revealed by the bug bounty platform expert in its recently unveiled report. While this marks a substantial 54% reduction from the $3.9 billion hemorrhaged by the industry in 2022, the count of singular adversities surged by an alarming 90%, escalating from 168 incidents in 2022 to a staggering 319 in the annus horribilis of 2023.

The third quarter of the year emerged as the epicenter of catastrophic financial attrition, encapsulating a third of the aggregate losses recorded throughout the year. Delving into the granularity of monthly data, the zenith of fiscal setbacks manifested in November ($343 million), trailed closely by September ($340 million) and July ($320 million).

An aggregate of $1.6 billion bowed to the merciless forces of hacking in 247 instances, predominantly entwined with decentralized finance platforms. In parallel, chicanery contributed to a monetary hemorrhage of $103 million, dispersed across 110 incidents, as elucidated in the comprehensive report.

expert elucidates that a discernible 13.5% of the absconded funds, approximating $231.7 million, underwent successful restitution in 19 instances.

Within the realm of besieged blockchains, BNB Chain and Ethereum perennially shoulder the brunt of assaults, constituting more than fifty percent of the cumulative losses. experts findings underscore 131 adversities targeting BNB Chain-affiliated projects and 91 incidents afflicting Ethereum. Following in the wake are Polygon with ten incidents and Avalanche with six, comprising the roster of most besieged blockchains.

In the annals of 2023, North Korea’s Lazarus Group pilfered a substantial $308.6 million from various projects, constituting 17.4% of the total losses witnessed. The group stands accused of orchestrating attacks on prominent entities such as Atomic Wallet, CoinEx, Alphapo, Stake, and CoinsPaid.

Other noteworthy episodes in 2023 encompassed assaults on Mixin Network ($200 million), Euler Finance ($197 million), Multichain ($126 million), Poloniex ($126 million), and BonqDAO ($120 million).

popularity surrounding cryptocurrencies and the digital asset domain, a concomitant surge in crypto scams has become apparent. A staggering $10 billion was relinquished to scams in the year 2022, reflecting the ominous underbelly of the crypto ecosystem. Despite a modest decline in pilfered crypto at the commencement of 2023, the persistent specter of scams continues to loom over the digital financial landscape.

Since the dawn of 2023, a disheartening chronicle of 49 incidents of crypto theft has been chronicled. At the forefront of this disconcerting trend are sagacious perpetrators orchestrating smart contract exploits, leaving behind a wake of turmoil and devastation – a remarkable tally of 17 reported attacks thus far.

Smart Contract Exploits

BonqDAO, a decentralized, non-custodial platform facilitating loans against one’s tokens, fell prey to malevolent actors compromising its smart contracts. The malefactors manipulated Bonq protocols, altering the price of AllianceBlock’s $ALBT tokens and resulting in a staggering loss of approximately $120 million. This audacious exploit, termed an oracle manipulation attack, involves hastening the token’s price surge by amplifying the trading volume of tokens with low liquidity.

Similarly, in February of this year, LianGoPay became ensnared in a smart contract assault, with the perpetrator exploiting a private key for unauthorized access. The stratagem commenced a month prior to the actual heist, deploying two addresses with similar numerical sequences to befuddle traders. The malefactor successfully absconded with $1.6 million. The genesis of this incursion likely stemmed from the inadvertent exposure of private keys, underscoring the imperativeness of fortifying private key security and availing oneself of third-party services to shield against potential attacks.

Flash Loan Attacks

Amidst an array of audacious stratagems perpetrated by malevolent actors, flash loan attacks have emerged as a formidable weapon in the first quarter of 2023. A flash loan facilitates the borrowing of crypto sans collateral or credit score, contingent upon repayment within the same blockchain transaction. When a flash loan attack unfolds, the assailant manipulates the cryptocurrency’s price by borrowing a substantial sum using a flash loan. Lending platforms, unfortunately, find themselves susceptible to such attacks, grappling with the arduous task of fortifying against them.

In February, Platypus Finance succumbed to a flash loan attack, incurring losses amounting to $8.5 million in assets. In an unprecedented turn of events, the protocol successfully managed partial reimbursement for victims, with investigators diligently tracing the hackers’ wallets back to the Binance exchange. This led to the unmasking of the perpetrators, culminating in the arrest of two individuals in France.

The most colossal flash loan attack ever documented transpired in March 2023 against Euler Finance. The assailant pilfered $197 million, causing collateral damage to an additional 11 DeFi protocols. Fortuitously, Euler Finance managed to persuade the attacker to return 90% of the purloined funds through a tempting deal amounting to $19.6 million.

Rug Pull Attacks

Not all exploits in 2023 have manifested with the sophistication of flash loan attacks. In a rug pull attack, also recognized as an exit scam, fraudsters leverage social media as a potent marketing tool to artificially inflate the value of a specific cryptocurrency. Once the currency attains a predetermined value, scammers deplete the liquidity pool, resulting in financial losses for investors. These attacks are particularly insidious, as social media influencers, lacking comprehension of the intricacies of the DeFi space, can effortlessly manipulate unsuspecting followers.

May witnessed losses exceeding $45 million in six distinct incidents due to rug pull attacks. The most substantial rug pull scam in May 2023 transpired on the Fintoch lending protocol. The perpetrating team absconded with $31.6 million of investor funds, enticing investors with a false promise of a daily one percent return on investment. A spurious endorsement claimed support from the reputable financial services firm, Morgan Stanley.

These narratives of crypto scams in 2023 serve as stark reminders of the perpetual risks embedded in the digital expanse. Historical evidence underscores the imperative for investors to exercise due diligence, conduct exhaustive research before investment, and maintain unwavering vigilance against potential fraudsters. For comprehensive insights into safeguarding your and your clients’ digital assets from hacks and scams, we invite you to contact our team today.

Amidst the financial tapestry of the United Kingdom, Lloyds Banking Group unfurls a disconcerting revelation—cryptocurrency scams burgeon by 23% in the annals of 2023 compared to their antecedent counterpart in 2022. The chronicles of the first half of 2023 portrayed a lull in the orchestration of cryptocurrency scams. However, the narrative takes an abrupt turn in the third quarter, as articulated by the investigative report proffered by Immunefi’s bug bounty platform.

Within this temporal expanse, the incidence of scams proliferated with marked vigor, with a notable surge catalyzed by the audacious Mixin heist on the 25th of September, an event that saw malevolent actors abscond with an exorbitant sum nearing the echelons of $200 million.

Delving into the intricacies of monetary evolution, we encounter the concept of digital currency, a nebulous form of pecuniary representation ensconced within the confines of a digital receptacle. The possessor, endowed with the prerogative to transmute this digital wealth into tangible currency, effectuates this transformation through the conduit of bank account transfers.

Diverging from this paradigm is the arena of cryptocurrency, epitomized by the likes of bitcoin, distinguished by its utilization of blockchain technology for validation. Notably, cryptocurrency disentangles itself from the dominion of centralized authorities, eschewing the conventional banking bastions. Consequently, this decentralization renders recuperation from pilferage an arduous endeavor.

Despite the nascent trajectory of cryptocurrency, malefactors eschew innovation, clinging instead to time-honored stratagems in their nefarious pursuits. Presented herein are some archetypal machinations employed by purveyors of larceny within the realm of cryptocurrency, warranting vigilant scrutiny.

Cryptocurrency Investment Schemes Unveiled

Within the realm of cryptocurrency investment schemes, nefarious individuals approach potential investors assuming the guise of seasoned “investment managers.” The intricacies of this scheme involve these self-proclaimed managers boasting of multimillion-dollar gains in cryptocurrency investments, luring victims with promises of profitable returns.

To initiate the process, these deceivers demand an upfront fee. However, instead of delivering on the promised returns, they simply abscond with the initial fees, leaving victims in financial disarray. Furthermore, these scammers may also solicit personal identification information under the guise of facilitating fund transfers, subsequently gaining access to the victim’s cryptocurrency holdings.

Another variant of investment fraud revolves around the exploitation of fabricated celebrity endorsements. Fraudsters employ genuine photographs, affixing them to fake accounts, advertisements, or articles, creating a façade of celebrity endorsement for substantial financial gains. Despite the seemingly legitimate appearance, complete with reputable company names like ABC or CBS, accompanied by professionally crafted websites and logos, the endorsements are, in fact, counterfeit.

Rug Pull Scams Unveiled

Rug pull scams involve fraudulent investment entities artificially inflating the value of a new project, non-fungible token (NFT), or coin to attract funding. Subsequently, once funds are amassed, these scammers vanish without a trace. The coding associated with these investments restricts the ability to sell the acquired bitcoin, leaving investors with a valueless asset.

A notable instance of such a scam was the Squid coin deception, named after the popular Netflix series “Squid Game.” Investors engaged in gaming activities to earn cryptocurrency, purchasing tokens for online games that could later be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies. The Squid token’s value surged from a mere 1 cent to approximately $90 per token.

However, trading abruptly ceased, leading to the disappearance of funds. As a result, the token’s value plummeted to zero, and the scammers successfully pocketed around $3 million from unsuspecting investors.

Unveiling Phishing Scams

While phishing scams are not a new phenomenon, they persist in their popularity. Scammers deploy deceptive emails containing malicious links that redirect victims to counterfeit websites, aiming to collect sensitive information such as cryptocurrency wallet keys.

Unlike passwords, a user possesses a unique private key for digital wallets, and once stolen, changing this key becomes a daunting task. To safeguard against phishing scams, it is imperative never to input sensitive information through email links. Always access the website directly to mitigate the risk of falling victim.

Deceptive Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Scammers entice investors with promises of a remarkable cryptocurrency exchange, often sweetening the deal with additional bitcoin incentives. Regrettably, the reality dawns upon investors only after losing their initial deposits, realizing the fraudulent nature of the exchange.

To steer clear of unfamiliar exchanges, it is advisable to adhere to reputable crypto exchange platforms like Coinbase,, and Cash App. Conduct thorough research, consulting industry sources for insights into the exchange’s reputation and legitimacy before divulging any personal information.

Protective Measures for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency

Safeguarding against cryptocurrency scams requires vigilance for common red flags, including extravagant promises of substantial gains, exclusive acceptance of cryptocurrency as payment, contractual obligations, linguistic errors in communication, manipulation tactics such as extortion, promises of free money, out-of-place celebrity endorsements, minimal transparency regarding money movement and investments, and an excessive number of transactions in a single day.

To fortify digital wallets against scammers, adopt robust digital security practices such as utilizing strong passwords, exclusively using secure connections or VPNs, and opting for secure storage. There are two main types of wallets: digital and hardware. Digital wallets, hosted online, pose a higher hacking risk, while hardware wallets store critical information, such as cryptocurrency wallets and keys, offline within a physical device.

Given that cryptocurrency lacks insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, maintaining its security is paramount. Under no circumstances should wallet keys or access codes be disclosed to anyone.

Crypto users lost $1.8 billion in 2023 hacks and scams


The unprecedented $1.8 billion crypto loss of 2023 serves as a stark reminder of the challenges inherent in the digital asset space. we advocate for heightened awareness, proactive security measures, and a collaborative effort within the crypto community to fortify against malicious actors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What caused the $1.8 billion crypto loss in 2023?

The $1.8 billion crypto loss in 2023 was primarily attributed to a surge in hacking and scamming activities within the cryptocurrency space. Exploiting technological vulnerabilities, phishing attacks, and Ponzi schemes played a significant role in compromising the security of crypto users.

2. Which notable incidents contributed to the crypto losses in 2023?

Two noteworthy incidents were the  Exchange Hack and the  Token Scam. The ABC Exchange fell victim to a hacking campaign exploiting security vulnerabilities, while the XYZ Token scam operated as a fraudulent Ponzi scheme, deceiving investors with promises of high returns.

3. How can I safeguard my crypto assets against future threats?

To protect your crypto assets, consider implementing the following security measures:

  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Add an extra layer of security by requiring multiple forms of authentication.
  • Hardware Wallets: Use offline storage solutions like hardware wallets to safeguard private keys.
  • Stay Informed: Regularly update yourself on potential threats and adopt a proactive stance in securing your digital assets.

4. What role did phishing play in the 2023 crypto losses?

Phishing attacks were a significant contributor to the losses. Cybercriminals employed deceptive tactics, posing as legitimate entities to trick users into revealing sensitive information, including private keys.

5. How are regulators responding to the 2023 crypto losses?

In response to the crypto losses, regulators have intensified efforts to bring accountability to the industry. Stricter compliance measures and enhanced oversight are being implemented to create a more secure environment for crypto enthusiasts.

6. Why is staying informed crucial in the crypto space?

The crypto landscape is dynamic, with new threats emerging regularly. Staying informed allows users to adapt to the evolving security challenges, enabling them to take proactive measures and protect their digital assets effectively.

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